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Island Tower at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows | DVC Expansion Project

There is a big expansion happening at the Disney Vacation Club Villas at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, featuring a new tower that brings to life the spirit of Polynesia.

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort DVC Expansion concept art

In this post, we are going to explain everything you need to know about the Island Tower at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, as well as all the changes coming to this resort in the next few years. We’ll share our thoughts on why Disney chose to make this move, and what the expansion might look like and include.

With its excellent location on the Seven Seas Lagoon, convenient monorail transportation, and just a stone’s throw away from the Magic Kingdom, the proposed project was “inspired by the early concepts for Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort,” according to Disney.

If this all sounds familiar, it’s because Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort just had a big refurbishment to the hotel in 2021, and this DVC expansion is the latest addition to what is arguably the most popular resort at Walt Disney World.

We recently found out that the official name is “Island Tower” at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows. We also have the opening date and all the booking info so you can stay there on your next trip.

(UPDATE) – Disney has shared a first look inside the new Island Tower guest rooms so scroll down to the “Island Tower Rooms” section for photos and a walk-through video.

As more details come out about this project, we will update you here so keep checking back for the latest info.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. We will update you as soon as we know more info about the DVC expansion at the Polynesian Resort, and share the latest vacation planning tips. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter!

Polynesian Village DVC Tower Overview

outside Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

Here are the main details to know about the Island Tower DVC expansion coming to Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows:

  • The tower is scheduled to open in December 2024
  • Resort reservations open starting June 4, 2024
  • The property will have incredible views of the Seven Seas Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom
  • New recreation and dining options will be included
  • A new tower is being built on the old Spirit of Aloha site
  • Spirit of Aloha is permanently closed

Here is the full press release from the Disney Vacation Club:

“It’s no secret that our Members and Guests love the monorail resorts at Walt Disney World,” said Bill Diercksen, senior vice president and general manager of Disney Vacation Club. “Expanding our Disney Vacation Club offerings at the Polynesian would give our Members and Guests yet another incredible option for staying close to the magic while making vacation memories that last a lifetime.”

Inspired by the early concepts for Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, the Imagineers of today are honoring the past while furthering the resort story with this innovative addition. Projected to open in late 2024, the proposed vacation ownership property would complement the existing resort and evoke the spirit of the Pacific Islands.

Situated on the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon, the proposed property would join the rest of the resort in offering stunning views of the Magic Kingdom. Proposed plans would offer additional rooms, new recreation offerings and dining options. More information and project details will be shared at a later date.

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Lobby

Since 2015, Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows has been a favorite resort destination, offering an island paradise in the middle of the magic. Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows currently has 380 Disney Vacation Club villas, including the largest Deluxe Studios at any Disney Vacation Club resort at Walt Disney World and unique two-bedroom Bora Bora Bungalows, located over the waters of the Seven Seas Lagoon – the first of their kind at Disney.”

Let’s take a look at all the details more in-depth…

Island Tower at Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows concept art

The first thing that stands out about the new tower is its design. If you are a frequent guest of Disney’s Polynesian Resort, you immediately notice that this structure does not look like the current buildings at the resort which evoke the spirit of the Pacific islands.

In fact, it looks a lot like the previously canceled Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge that was being built near Fort Wilderness.

Reflections - A Disney Lakeside Lodge

Recently Disney gave a look inside the new Island Tower and some of its details…

The outside of the resort will include “beautiful designs created exclusively for the exterior, including a gorgeous Manta Ray that symbolizes freedom, protection and grace.”

When you step inside the lobby, the art panel installation on the ceiling is a highlight and inspired by several Polynesian Islands showcasing the native wildlife to that island. Each animal holds a strong connection to the islands and symbolizes values important to Polynesians.

The lobby at Island Tower at Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows concept art

It also seems like some more thought went into the design here than on recent projects as Walt Disney Imagineering collaborated with over a dozen artists from around the world to create unique artworks that will be displayed throughout the resort.

These include preserved moss walls and sculptures made from recycled fishing nets, each piece being inspired by the spirit of conservation and embody the rich cultures of Polynesia. 

“Our main story narrative focuses on celebrating Polynesian wayfinding and the natural elements of water, earth, wind and fire. During the artwork development, we focused on three guiding principles: Polynesian stories, sustainability stories and Disney stories. This new tower features works created by contemporary Polynesian artists as well as artwork featuring subtle nods to ‘Moana’ and Disney Legend Mary Blair,” said Walt Disney Imagineer Madeline Day.

The lobby at Island Tower at Disney's Polynesian Villas & Bungalows concept art

While the new updates from Disney have slightly improved our opinion of the design, it still looks pretty plain, and without the incredible theming we are used to from the Polynesian. To me it still feels like a Courtyard Marriott located in Polynesia rather than a truly unique design that we are used to from Walt Disney Imagineering.

Honestly, this is to be expected at Disney right now. Most of the new projects that have either been announced, or built, have all leaned toward a more generic, muted aesthetic instead of heavier theming.

I know that many fans are upset with this decision (including us), but that’s what Disney management has decided guests are looking for at the moment. We’ve seen it with Disney’s Riviera Resort, Reflections – A Lakeside Lodge, Disney’s Gran Destino, the new Disneyland Hotel tower, and the list goes on.

Disneyland DVC Tower Concept Art

Disney describes it as being “inspired by the early concepts for Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort,” and that is partly true. An early concept art for Disney’s Polynesian Resort included a 12-story tower, reminiscent of something you would find on Waikiki Beach in Hawaii.

That of course, never got built (thankfully), and instead of the unique and exotic design of the original Polynesian buildings, the Bora Bora Bungalows, or like what we see over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, this new DVC tower is pretty plain and uninspiring.

Original Polynesian Resort Concept Art

Sure there are some cool designs on the ceiling, but it still pretty much looks like any generic hotel you can find at any location throughout the United States or the world, and to us that means not living up to “Disney standards.” The fact that there is very little imagination between all these hotels really sums it all up.

I’m not writing it off completely, I just feel that a lot of potential here will probably be wasted. For the most part, I personally like the Disney’s Boardwalk renovation and the DVC expansion at the Grand Floridian much more, but we’ll have to wait and see how this one compares when it’s finished.

We just feel it’s generally lazy. We don’t blame the Imagineers either. They have shown in recent years, when they are given the budget, they can do some amazing things (hello Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser).

In our opinion, it’s Disney management who clearly does not want to spend the extra money to make this an immersive and themed environment because they know people are going to buy these DVC units due to its location.

There will no doubt be many great aspects of the resort when it’s complete. The rooms will probably be more spacious and feel more luxurious than other rooms at the Polynesian Resort, but skipping on the theming, is what will probably keep this from truly great status.

Island Tower Rooms

Disney’s has just released new images and a walkthrough video of what the rooms will look like at the Island Tower at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, and we also know the various room types that are available.

The Island Tower will feature a variety of room types that will sleep from two to nine guests, such as duo studios, spacious one- and two-bedroom villas and brand-new two-bedroom penthouse villas. Each guest room will also feature custom pieces inspired by Walt Disney Animation Studios film, “Moana.”

Let’s take a look at each room type…

Duo Studios

Duo Studios Island Tower Polynesian DVC Resort Rooms

The Duo Studios are the smallest room type at the Island Tower and reminds us of the Tower Studio rooms at the Riviera Resort. With inspiration from the stars and the sky that the wayfinders used for celestial navigation, the bright and airy duo studios will offer the perfect retreat for two.

Studios for Families of Four

Deluxe Studios Island Tower Polynesian DVC Resort Rooms

Celebrating the lush flora and fauna of the islands, the deluxe studios will sleep up to four and include a first-of-its-kind feature for Disney Vacation Club deluxe studios – a dishwasher! The deluxe studios in the Island Tower will have a new layout, including a cozy seating area across from the kitchenette.

One- & Two-Bedroom Villas

One-Bedroom Villas Island Tower Polynesian DVC Resort Rooms bedroom

You and your family and friends will be able to spread out in a one- or two-bedroom villa, sleeping up to five and nine, respectively. Through unique artwork, each villa will showcase a voyager’s journey both on land and under the sea.

Embracing the beauty of water or earth, these spaces will feature a kitchen with full-size appliances, a dining area, a washer and dryer, and an outdoor patio area. 

Two Bedroom Penthouse Villas

Two Bedroom Penthouse Villas Island Tower Polynesian DVC Resort Rooms dining room

Disney Vacation Club will introduce a brand-new type of accommodation in Island Tower: two-bedroom penthouse villas. Themed after the calming balance between water and the islands, the stunning villas will sleep up to eight and boast a spacious living room, and spectacular views of the Seven Seas Lagoon and Magic Kingdom Park from an expansive patio balcony.

Here is a video walkthrough of the various room types:

As you can imagine, many rooms will feature spectacular views and these will surely be some of the most sought-after and expensive rooms in all of Walt Disney World. This is where using an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner will give you a huge advantage and make it much easier to get a room.


Ok, so while the rooms all look amazing, the biggest question on your mind is “how much does it cost to stay at the Island Tower?” Like any resort on the monorail loop, you know it’s going to be expensive, but how much are we talking here?

While prices vary greatly according to the time of year you visit, here is a look at the Island Tower prices during the opening week for an arrival on December 18, 2024. It should be noted that this is one of the most expensive times of year to visit Disney World, so if you are looking to spend less, check out our guide to The Cheapest Times to Visit Disney World.

Also, during your vacation, there may be discounts available to Annual Passholders, DVC Members, Florida Residents and even the general public so check the list of Current Disney World Discounts to see what’s available for you.

Duo Studios

  • Standard View – $826 per night (excluding taxes)
  • Preferred View – $915 per night (excluding taxes)
  • Theme Park View – $1,031 per night (excluding taxes)

Deluxe Studios

  • Standard View – $1,101 per night (excluding taxes)
  • Preferred View – $1,338 per night (excluding taxes)
  • Theme Park View – $1,507 per night (excluding taxes)

1-Bedroom Villas

  • Standard View – $1,596 per night (excluding taxes)
  • Preferred View – $1,769 per night (excluding taxes)
  • Theme Park View – $1,993 per night (excluding taxes)

2- Bedroom Villas

  • Theme Park View – $2,750 per night (excluding taxes)
  • Penthouse Preferred View – (N/A)
  • Penthouse Theme Park View – $5,016 per night (excluding taxes)

Why is Disney Building a New DVC Wing at the Polynesian Resort?

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Lobby

This expansion will help resolve the need for more hotel rooms at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, especially for Disney Vacation Club members.

It’s no secret that the Polynesian Resort is maybe the most resort destination at Walt Disney World, and usually sells out for all dates. If you are trying to book with DVC points and the Polynesian is not your “home resort,” it can be almost impossible to get a room there.

Right now there are only 380 Villas and Bungalows at the resort, so with this new expansion, it makes finding a room a little bit easier, which is good for guests willing to shell out the money.

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

It also lets the DVC part of the Polynesian keep up with the regular hotel. If you remember, in 2021 it had a big overhaul with a new Moana-themed guest rooms, a new porte-cochère installed, and a renovation to the monorail station.

Unfortunately, Disney needs to maximize revenue, and that land will make a ton more money as a DVC resort than it will as a dinner show. I don’t like it as much as you don’t, but that’s the way it is.

Amenities and Dining

Pineapple Drinks at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

What can guests expect to find here when it opens? So far Disney hasn’t revealed many details about the amenities that will be located in this new DVC tower.

The only thing they mentioned so far in the press released was that there will be “new recreation offerings and dining options.” That’s pretty open-ended and vague and could mean just about anything.

While it mentioned dining options, we aren’t sure if it will have a rooftop restaurant or not. These are all the rage right now at new Disney World Resort hotels (Gran Destino and Riviera Resort immediately jump out), and with the amazing views of the Magic Kingdom, one would make sense here too.

I’m not sure though from the concept art that there is enough space at the top center of the structure for a full restaurant. It might be just a lounge, which would be awesome too. We’ll keep you posted when we find out more.

Not everything is staying however, some things are on their way out…

Closing Spirit of Aloha

Spirit of Aloha Show

Out with the old, and in with the new. Unfortunately, to build this new DVC tower at the Polynesian Resort, something has to go, and it just so happens that thing is the historic Spirit of Aloha dinner show.

Disney’s Spirit of Aloha dinner show was an all-you-can-eat feast, with traditional Polynesian dancers, entertainers, and live music. It’s been a family-favorite for decades and one of the most unique dining experiences in Disney World.

When it closed back in 2020, there were rumors of it shutting down for good, but Disney hadn’t made any official announcements, with many hoping it would eventually return. That is not happening now, and the land where the show once stood will be home to this new tower expansion.

Hidden Mickeys at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort

Most fans are going to have a problem with this, and we completely understand. We hate it when some of our favorite Disney experiences, the ones we’ve had for decades and that really make us feel a connection to Walt Disney World are taken away. Taking it away for a tower that is seemingly bland and without personality makes it even worse.

When Will the New DVC Tower at the Polynesian Be Complete?

Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Restaurants

Right now we don’t have an actual date, but Disney has announced that it will be open sometime in December 2024. Our original guess when the project was announced was “Late 2024” so we were pretty accurate with that, but we credit Disney with keeping on schedule, which isn’t always the case.

In any case, we don’t have much more to wait, only about 6-7 months from this update. Of course, delays could always come up, but usually when Disney makes an official announcement of an opening date, they are 100% sure they will meet that date. That’s why they don’t usually announce opening dates too far in advance.

If you decide that you would like to stay at the Island Tower, here are some important booking dates to keep in mind:

  • June 4: Disney Vacation Club members can make early rental reservations by contacting Member Services at (800) 800-9800. Disney Vacation Club members will be able to make points-based reservations at a later date. 
  • June 5: Walt Disney World Annual Passholders can start booking rental reservations by contacting (407) 934-7639. 
  • June 6: All guests can make reservations online or by contacting (407) 934-7639. 

We’ll keep an eye on it though and let you know when we have an exact opening date.

Ready to Start Planning Your Disney Vacation?

Mickey Mouse partners statue Magic Kingdom

If you feel overwhelmed planning a Disney vacation, use an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner such as Show You the World Travel. They are experts on every Disney location and can tell you where to stay, what to do, how to save money, and give you personalized service for your most magical vacation ever!

Make sure to read our Guide to Disney World Refurbishments for the latest work being done on all the hotels and attractions around property.

Also, if you are interested in staying at the Disney DVC Resorts, here are a few helpful planning articles to help you decide where to stay and save you money doing it:

For more information on planning your vacation to Walt Disney World here are three of our most useful posts:

Your Thoughts

I want to know what you think about the expansion to the Disney Vacation Club Villas at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort…

  • Are you looking forward to this new addition?
  • What changes to the rooms would you like to see?

Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂

Jerald Elmore

Saturday 8th of June 2024

I don't like fla. residents having to make reservations especially ticket holders. Being elderly and not much money, I can't go to Disney as much as I would like. I really miss the fast passes. I can't afford to pay for passes. So I don't go as often as I use to. I was getting annual passes and loved it. I been going to Disney since it opened., that is my wife and I. Thanks for letting me vet. Jerald Elmore -

Roger True

Sunday 12th of May 2024

The Polynesian was the First place we stayed at WDW on our honeymoon on Sept 2 1978. It was amazing. The view of the Castle across the Lake was magical. The boat trip to the Magic Kingdom was always a big deal. Again, magical. We have stayed there many times since. When we first went there was not EPCOT yet and the Monorail to the EPCOT build site was under construction. Just the Poly, the Contemporary. The loss of the Spirit of Aloha was a big one. We went to it often. I agree that unfortunately the powers to be have dampened the Magic over the last few years. We became DVC Members very early. (not early enough to get free park passes for life but we did get free park admission for years as early DVC members.) We miss the island zoo in the lake between the Contemporary and the Campgrounds. I totally agree that given free reign the imagineers are still as creative as ever. As you mentioned the Star Wars Galactic Starcruise was strong evidence of that. Also the staff still carry on the spirit of Walt Disney everywhere you go in WDW. The moves to make $$ has induced the current heads of the company that would have Walt spinning in his grave. Walt NEVER wanted alcohol in his parks. Going to EPCOT during the events that feature alcohol heavily is often a very bad experience. People walking through the park with a glass in each hand and spilling alcohol as they go obviously a bit over intoxicated has caused us to avoid EPCOT at certain times of the year. The new "Towers" (Contemporary and Polynesian) are just BIG Hotels. Not Disneyfied. We stayed at the New Contemporary DVC Tower and there is not even staff present if you check in latter in the night. NO ONE. If you had an issue you had to go to the main Contemporary building to see someone. We still love Disney World. We've loved Paris Disney, Disneyland, and especially WDW. As Florida residents now (we moved here in retirement to a large part to be close to WDW) we love going still. Thanks for you site and insite.

Roger and Julia True Leesburg, FL

Dave Shaw

Saturday 11th of May 2024

Ziggy. A few more questions. Will the two resorts be one? By that I mean are they going to start selling DVC points for the new Towers? Will existing Polynesian DVC members be able to book at the 11 month or 7 month window? Just some questions you may or may not know the answers too. About the theming…I’m not a fan. The Polynesian was the first resort I ever stayed in. Way back when there were only the two resorts (three if you count the “golf resort”) It was also the resort where I honeymooned. I loved the original theming. The main reason I have interest in the towers is because it will have one, two and three bedroom villas in a GREAT location right by the original resort.


Sunday 25th of December 2022

Boring, same ole same ole. Unique and different that’s what we love about Disney and the Resorts. AK, Contemporary, Poly, all unique, fun we absorbed the theme and it surrounded us. These new styles you can get Anywhere. Typical Hotel. Removed Luau for this ?? ?

Ziggy Oskwarek

Tuesday 27th of December 2022

Hi Joni, thanks for the message. Yes, I tend to agree with you. All the hotel designs in the last 10 years have been pretty blah. Let's hope the management change now realizes this and brings back some more of the unique theming that made past Disney resorts so special!


Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

Understand the need for growth and more lodging. But was hoping that the "Spirit of Aloha" would reopen by the time we visit in Dec. Well, guess that's not going to happen. Sorry to see it go as many memories were there with the kids and special friends. Time to make new memories with the kids and grandkids.